Train companies across the UK have said that they foresee no problems with coping with the thousands of extra people travelling to the capital to celebrate the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. According to the Association of Train Operating Companies, around 400,000 visitors are expected to make their way to London by rail.
Compared to the average bank holiday, passenger numbers are expected to be up by 15 per cent. A spokesman for the rail association said that additional trains were being put into service and that half of the train firms would be running to a weekday timetable.
Disruption has been kept to a minimum in the south-east according to Network Rail which has suspended or moved any engineering work where possible. Because many of the streets surrounding the wedding procession will be closed off today, motorists have been advised to stay away from central London.
London Underground said it would be keeping all stations open as well as all Tube lines. However, RMT general secretary Bob Crow issued a travel lottery warning for London explaining that the transport system was already finding it difficult to cope. Peter Hendy, London’s transport commissioner, said everything was being done to make sure that travelling around the city was easy and safe.
Retailers in London are also bracing themselves for an extra half-a-million shoppers over the long weekend. According to the New West End Company, which represents establishments on Bond Street and Oxford Street, between them customers could spend up to £50 million.